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Author Topic: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?  (Read 3568 times)

Titanscape

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Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« on: 30/01/2012 04:13:08 »
Good day, some people believe that behind the universe there is an intelligence or a higher power. Not all believe in a god or gods.

One friend of mine, from a formerly religious family, that pre-WW2 became removed from faith, holds as an intellectual view that there is a higher power. By chance as we chatted, there were tiny bugs flying around, that he likened to humanity compared to a superior being he thought exists over the universe.

Another friend, in a pen friend, from Hungary, a police woman who sees something in communism, also believes in a higher power, but does not adhere to the protestant faith of her ancestors.

From science or personal experience or philosophy or history... do you think there is a higher power or intelligence behind the universe or in the universe...?

I add this thread because so many scientists and speculators here are unsure about how to define a god. A higher power, being, intelligence or intelligence before time, to use an oxymoron, need not be a god, object of worship, a person, benevolent or caring...

Could there be an intelligence or a team behind the universe, like Einstein, Oppenheimer and Szaldi were behind the first atomic bomb. Or like a team at CERN?

From Stephen Hawking.
By examining the model universes we generate when the theories of physics are altered in certain ways, one can study the effect of changes to physical law in a methodical manner. Such calculations show that a change of as little as 0.5% in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4% in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it. Also, most of the fundamental constants appearing in our theories appear fine-tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467921609024244.html
« Last Edit: 30/01/2012 04:52:49 by Titanscape »

graham.d

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #1 on: 30/01/2012 08:40:43 »
From science or personal experience or philosophy or history... do you think there is a higher power or intelligence behind the universe or in the universe...?

I think it is quite likely that there are other creatures in the universe with much greater knowledge and intelligence than us humans. Given the age of the universe and the assumption that we are probably not in any way special, then some beings are going to be many millions of years ahead of us in development (evolution, genentic engineering, technology, understanding of physics etc). Would this make them appear to be Gods should we encounter them? Probably; but they would not be. In any case, I would doubt we would ever know of them unless they chose to make themselves known, and, of course, we would all be fairly isolated unless we discover some new physics.

Could such beings be "interfering" in human development, even in individual's everyday lives? Maybe, but, again, I doubt we would know it, and it still would not make them Gods. I would also find it strange that any such beings would wish to be venerated (or even worshipped) when they try so hard not to be observable. Indeed, it would be a bad thing for the human race if we started to believe that we would all be somehow protected from disasters so that we did not have to do anything ourselves.

Do I think there is some supreme being who created the universe. No. Whatever definition we put on the word "universe", it seems to me that spontaneous natural creation or cyclical creation and destruction, or multiverses are easier to imagine than a super creative intelligence; the simple question always arises, "who made God?"

Don_1

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #2 on: 30/01/2012 10:51:17 »
............ "who made God?"


I have a nasty feeling someone may answer this 'God created himself'. Now that would be a damn clever trick.

Alternatively the response could be 'God has always been'. In which case, what was he doing for the billions of years before he decided to create everything?

I think there are four categories of people. The 'believers' and the 'atheists' can be described as the two extremes.

Believers –
Those who have blind faith in a deity or deities who created and preside over everything. The identities of these deities have changed over thousands of years as each has come into and gone out of favour.

Atheists –
Those who see the universe and everything in it to be the result of chemistry, physics and a mathematical law of averages (or some variation of these) in which no conscious entity or entities exist to have played or play any part.

Then there are the agnostics. This category has, in recent years, split into two, which could be defined as type 1 (the ‘original’ agnostics) and type 2 (the ‘new age’ agnostics).

Type 1 –
Those who would like to believe (or do believe) in a deity, but have reservations due to one or more conceived paradoxes. These may be the lack of concrete evidence of a deity, the overwhelming evidence of science, a lack of ‘faith’ and the question, ‘where was God when….?’ (Such as, when millions were being exterminated in death camps, when the 2003 tsunami hit the Indian Ocean coast line). But this group remains unconvinced that life, the universe and everything else, just happened simply because it could and science cannot disprove the existence of a God and seemingly cannot make up its mind on how everything came to be.

Type 2 –
Those who might previously have fallen into type 1 or (wrongly) thought themselves to be atheist, or siding more with atheism. This is a category in which agnostics who cannot believe in a deity but equally cannot come to terms with atheism have found a way to obviate their disbelief. They believe in some form of external creator/designer.

The idea that ET has visited Earth in the past is not new. It has long been suggested that some cave art depicts aliens wearing helmets and/or space suits. But cave art can be very abstract. Both man and animals depicted can be disproportionate and stylised. So these paintings cannot be taken as a true likeness.

I won’t repeat what Graham has already said, but I agree with him that all things are possible, but why would our alien benefactors not make themselves known to us? Why would they have passed on knowledge of tool making and use, but not knowledge of interstellar travel?

As for ET having implanted some of his genetic code in us or crossbreeding, I think this is just fanciful thinking which has no basis and would likely be a biological impossibility.

Type 2 agnostics are really just a progression of religious believers. They have taken a step further from the deities of old. In the beginning was Ra, then Zeus, then Jupiter, then God, with the likes of Odin and other ‘pagan’ gods thrown in between and along side them and now the ‘Intelligent Designer’. Just another shape or form of a god to explain that which we do not yet (and maybe never will) understand.

I wonder where the type 2 agnostics’ fall in regard to that other deity, Lucifer, The Devil?
« Last Edit: 30/01/2012 10:59:06 by Don_1 »

CliffordK

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #3 on: 30/01/2012 11:08:33 »
Are we the ants?
And there is another species that can trod on us, and kick in our ant-hills?

Anthropomorphizing the ants a little, they can see, and would be aware of other species that are larger than themselves.  So, while they may not understand humans, birds, bears, and etc, they can at least SEE them.

As humans, we can not see, or observe any higher intelligence.  Obviously there is the wind, clouds, rain & etc.  If all I could see of the weather was what I could see out my back door, I might even consider that it was controlled by a higher power. 

However, I can now go to Weather Dot Com (NOT God Dot Com), and find out what the weather will be like for the next 10 days.  The weather can be analyzed from above and below, with a variety of means, and appears to be the manifestation of natural phenomena.  There are wonderful pictures of clouds rolling across the country.

Likewise, we can explain the orbital motion of planets and stars without the need of adding a "higher intelligence".

Back to the ant analogy.  Some people choose to keep a few ants in an "ant farm".  Yet, we certainly are unable to understand anything more than rudimentary communication between them.  And, if we noted them turning to Mecca 10 times a day, we might find it to be a curiosity, but wouldn't consider it as them attempting to communicate their feelings with us.

In fact, we have been very poor at understanding the native communication of any species other than our own.

There may be aliens out there...  somewhere...  but there is not evidence that they are in fact pulling strings here on Earth, can understand, or even care about humanity.

Gordian Knot

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #4 on: 30/01/2012 17:11:16 »
Don I find your definitions of agnostics deficient.

Your Definitions:
Type 1 –
Those who would like to believe (or do believe) in a deity, but have reservations due to one or more conceived paradoxes.

Type 2 –
Those who might previously have fallen into type 1 or (wrongly) thought themselves to be atheist, or siding more with atheism. This is a category in which agnostics who cannot believe in a deity but equally cannot come to terms with atheism have found a way to obviate their disbelief. They believe in some form of external creator/designer.

The Standard Definition.
There are variations, and I think the most accepted definition of agnostic is:
One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

Agnostics, the ones I know anyway, do not have a desire to believe and just cannot support that belief. They simply don't find there is any evidence for or against such a being. To put this in my own immutable way, I simply do not care one way or the other!

graham.d

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #5 on: 31/01/2012 12:19:14 »
[...but why would our alien benefactors not make themselves known to us? Why would they have passed on knowledge of tool making and use, but not knowledge of interstellar travel? ] - Don_1

I hasten to add that I am definitely not a fan of Erik Von Dan*ken.

However, if we make the assumption (in contradiction to our current knowledge) that interstellar travel is technologically possible and, more to the point, practical without nasty time dilation problems, then, if life is not unique to the earth, there will be many civilisations (many millions of years ahead of us) who would certainly know about us. They would also possess the technology to observe us whilst remaining totally unobservable themselves. The question is, would they interfere in any way? They may have a Star Trek "Prime Directive" of non-interference or they may be a very hands-off guide as in Arthur C Clarke's 2001 or maybe they are subtley interfering all the time (in a mysterious way of course). Maybe they just don't care and have higher matters to concern them. Whatever the case, we are probably not going to know one way or the other for a long time yet, so it is somewhat academic.

I do think SETI is a waste of time though, for exactly these reasons.

graham.d

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #6 on: 31/01/2012 12:22:26 »
I note that Erik Von Dan*ken (with i instead of a *) is a Blacklisted Term. I have to try to guess which word the site objects to. Although it is understandable to blacklist this person's name, it would be good if the error message gave a hint as to which word it objects to!!

Don_1

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #7 on: 31/01/2012 16:54:52 »
Gordion Knot - I'm sure if you asked 100 people why they were agnostic, you would get 100 different sets of reasons, but probably "I simply do not care one way or the other!" might be one of the more common responses.


Graham - There is good sense in what you say, one could argue either way until the cows come home and resolve nothing whatsoever.





imatfaal

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #8 on: 31/01/2012 16:55:44 »
Graham it is the fact that the Supreme Erik's name contains the name of a certain training shoe company who specialises in exploitation of child labour in the third world.

you cannot put the name of the world famous orchestra in Berlin the Berlin PhilhamoniCker either - remove the C for the real name

Just Do It!   ie 31792247d3958ff4a461547da1a50ed6.gif is blacklisted
« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 16:58:18 by imatfaal »

Gordian Knot

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #9 on: 31/01/2012 17:09:50 »
I agree with you Don that explanations of why any one person chooses agnosticism will be as varied as the people who are asked. My comment on your earlier post was that, from my experience, very few agnostics have a "desire" to believe in a higher power and just cannot, which is how you defined it.

graham.d

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Re: Intelligence Behind the Universe, Higher Power?
« Reply #10 on: 31/01/2012 19:05:19 »
I see, Imatfaal. I was very lucky to find the offending word on only the 3rd or 4th try then because I'd never have guessed that a sequence of letters in a valid word would constitute a banned word. I thought Erik's surname would be a candidate so I was even more lucky to * the right part of his name. Isn't this a bit OTT, particularly as you clearly worked around it (deliberately) whereas I was not even trying to use the word but had a perfectly innocent post blocked for no good reason and without any indication of where the fault lay?

 

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